The Democracy in Latin America Seminar Series
Challenges of Radical Populism

Last updated May 09, 2013

Since 2007, in association with the Hudson Institute, IFPA has examined radical populism in Latin America in order to provide policy recommendations to leaders of government and civil society to help counter anti-democratic forces and authoritarianism. Institute analysts have worked closely with Ambassador Jaime Daremblum, director of the Center for Latin American Studies and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Dr. Daremblum is the former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States and has written extensively on Latin American politics, economics, and foreign policy.

Upcoming Plans

The series will build on recent seminars, which have amply demonstrated the importance of limiting radical populism as a fertile breeding ground for anti-American activity in Latin America. In addition to the seminars,the organizers also believe that greater resonance can be generated both in the United States and Latin America through press roundtables to be held periodically in Washington, D.C., with journalists who will discuss recent developments of special importance in the region directly related to radical populism.

The questions to be addressed in upcoming seminars focus on possible responses to the creeping advance of radical populism in Latin America. Specifically, how can the United States encourage opposition to radical populism? What strategies and instruments are at the disposal of proponents of democracy in Latin America? What has been tried before? What are likely to be the most effective ways of dealing with this problem? As part of the seminar series the organizers propose to convene a panel whose focus will be lessons learned, together with proposals for action derived from such lessons to combat radical populist threats to democracy.

The series organizers will continue to invite key U.S. decision makers from the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, members and staff from Congress, and from outside the U.S. government. With a new administration, and new policy makers, together with a new Congress, it becomes more essential than ever to provide informative programs. Our effort will be designed to help fill this important gap. There is also an extensive community of specialists and other interested groups in and around Washington, D.C., whom we will continue to invite to our events. Presentations or meetings will also be arranged with key senators and representatives from both parties. The diverse mix of participants will assure a stream of well-publicized ideas that would stimulate greater discussion in academia, the media, and political arena. As in the past year, seminars will be designed to stimulate new ideas on how to confront the challenges to democracy represented by Latin American populism and to educate members of the official policy community and those outside government on vitally important issues.